Most people who develop Graves' ophthalmopathy have one or more of the following symptoms:
Dry, itchy, irritated eyes
A staring or bug-eyed look
Sensitivity to light; watery, teary eyes; and a feeling of pain or pressure around the eyes
Difficulty closing the eyes completely
Double vision, especially when looking to the sides
Pain when moving the eyes up and down and from side to side
You will likely have an eye exam to make sure you do not have another eye problem, such as a tumor.
To help reduce dryness and discomfort, your doctor will treat your symptoms of Graves' ophthalmopathy. He or she will use artificial tears, medicated eyedrops, and protective glasses or sunglasses. If the condition is diagnosed early, you can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, to relieve pain and inflammation. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Treatment will depend on how severe your symptoms are. Treatments may include corticosteroid medicines, immunosuppressants, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, or eye surgery.
Graves' ophthalmopathy may get worse if your thyroid levels are out of balance. It may also get worse temporarily if you are given radioactive iodine therapy.
Smoking increases your chances of developing Graves' ophthalmopathy. And it can make the condition worse.
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology